Saturday, 18 April 2015

Shoreham & Arun (16-18 April)

Saturday 18th.  Another cold, clear morning with a strong NE wind.  Still sufficiently off-putting not to go far, I even had a lie in not reaching Shoreham Fort until 07:00.  The only passage noted were 7 Sandwich Terns heading east and the tide was too low for any feeding waders.  Looking inland from Shoreham Fort the only area of ploughed fields visible was Steepdown, one of my favourite not very birdy places in Sussex.  It seemed worth trying, if only to see how many Corn Buntings were singing despite being exposed to the wind.  The Cetti's Warbler was still singing at New Salts Farm and the Reed Bunting by the Adur but I didn't linger and headed for Lancing Ring.  Around Steepdown I counted 26 Sky Larks and 14 Corn Buntings with a flighty flock of about 50 also there.  Migrants were represented by a Wheatear and 4 Swallows flying east. 

Corn Bunting on Steepdown

looking SE from Steepdown
Two of the counties most prominent landmarks, Lancing College and Southwick Power Station, with Beachy Head distantly in the haze 
Steepdown from Lancing Ring.  From this angle Flatdown would be a more appropriate name.
Reed Bunting holding territory by the Adur

Friday 17th.  If anything the weather was colder and the wind a bit stronger so I didn't venture far.  I arrived at Shoreham Fort at 06:35 but as expected little was passing and even less was close.  I saw 6 Fulmars, 10 Gannets, 13 Common Scoter, 10 Whimbrel, 20 Sandwich Terns and a Swallow in an hour of watching.  In the harbour were a Purple Sandpiper, 23 Turnstone and my first Common Sandpiper of the year while a Peregrine was on the power station chimney.  At New Salts Farm a Reed Warbler had joined the singing Cetti's and Chiffchaffs while the best the Adur had to offer was a singing Reed Bunting and 2 Oystercatchers.  I then walked around Mill Hill seeing 3 Long-tailed Tits (one with no tail) and single Buzzard, House Martin, Yellowhammer and, I suspected, Greenshank.  The latter remaining silent (or out of earshot) as it flew east.

Reed Bunting by the Adur

Long-tailed Tit at Mill Hill
I didn't notice the ring at the time 
Short-tailed Tit.  It looked amazing in flight.
Thursday 16th.  The forecast of a cold clear day with a strong NE wind wasn't particularly inspiring for seawatching so I decided to try the Arun Valley for the change.  Rackham at dawn was quiet so I went on to Greatham where in three hours I saw Cuckoo, 3 Nightingales, Stonechat, Cetti's, Grasshopper, Sedge and Willow Warblers and Whitethroats.  I spent the next 3 hours at Pulborough seeing another 3 Nightingales, Whitethroat, lots of Blackcaps, Nuthatch, Treecreeper and Bullfinch.  No Little Ringed Plover was a disappointment as was just a solitary Swallow flying through.  I tried a couple of spots on the Adur on my way home but both were very quiet.

it is usually a good day when I see a Grasshopper Warbler
more so when it is a good view although I don't recall seeing one with such bright pink legs before
it had me reaching for my Brazil field guide, Pink-legged Groveleteiro anyone?  Hopefully this autumn ...
Green Woodpecker - the first I've seen this year!
Cuckoo at Greatham
given the perils cuckoo's face on migration it is a wonder any ever make it back
Nightingale at Pulborough
these two with the Powershot Sx60
how fortunate to have one of the best places in the country to see Nightingales only a short drive away
these two digiscoped with my old Olympus 1040
Wednesday 15th.  A Peregrine was on the power station chimney.

Tuesday 14th.  Two Wheatears were on Southwick Beach, a Peregrine was on the power station chimney and a Rock Pipit on Carats Cafe roof.

Monday 13th.  Local Herring Gull A5HH by Sussex University Sports Centre bus stop.  Not a day to be working with a scattering of migrants seen along the coast including several very smart male Pied Flycatchers.  Maybe next year, or the year after ... 

Friday, 17 April 2015

TRIP INDEX by year

TRIP INDEX – by year

The following lists chronological the foreign birding trips that I have done.  Also included are a few family trips to decent birding locations.  In time I hope to 'blog' them all, and those that have been done are shown in bold with a link.  All the older blogs use scanned slides (or digitised prints of varying quality).  Some of the slides have degraded badly with age.  Some blogs use photos take by those I was with (they are easy to tell as they are significantly better than mine).  Most blogs are heavily reliant on my unreliable memories.  They were initially done to find a 'home' for my old boxes of slides which I had not looked at for years. Doing these blogs has brought back many very happy memories, and a few sad ones - I’ve been very fortunate in having various like-minded friends, some sadly no longer with us, whom I have usually been able to travel with.  Virtually all were budget trips -  if they had not been I doubt that I could have afforded to do half as many, and probably not had half as much fun long the way, although I would doubtless have seen more birds but you can't have everything.
Kagu, New Caledonia August 1998 (digitised print taken with an instamatic).  One of my all-time top 3 birds.  Giant Pitta (1987) and Wilson's Bird of Paradise (1993) are the others.
1974:  MAJORCA (October)
          brief mention in The 1970s: finding my feet - 1974 blog

1975:  CARMARGUE (May)
          included in The 1970s: Camargue, Shetland & Scillies in 1975 blog

1977:  MOROCCO (April)

             KENYA (December-January 1978)

1978:  THAILAND (December-January 1979)

1979:  ISRAEL (March/April)

            CANARIES (June/July)

             NEPAL (November-January 1980)

1980:  CANADA (May)

            THAILAND (December-January 1981)

1982: MALAYSIA (January/February)

            THAILAND (February)

            NEPAL (March/June)
          Jomson Trek

          Everest Trek

          Langtang Trek

            INDIA (June/July)


           VENEZUELA (December-February 1983)

1983:  KENYA (July/August)

1984:  PERU (July/August)

            BOTSWANA (December-January 1985) 


1985:  COSTA RICA (July/August)

1986:  AUSTRALIA (March/April)

           ECUADOR: July/August 1986

1987:  MALAYSIA (July/August) 

1988: THAILAND (March/April)
          BRAZIL (July/August)

1989:  ICELAND (June)               

1990:  ARGENTINA (August)

1991:  SOUTH AFRICA (August)

1992:  INDONESIA Sulawesi & Halmahera (August)

1993:  INDONESIA Irian Jaya (August)

1995:  MADAGASCAR (August)

1996:  PHILIPPINES (April)

            NEW ZEALAND (August)   

1997:  VIETNAM (March/April)     

1998:  AUSTRALIA & NEW CALEDONIA (July/August)        

1999:  ECUADOR (August/September)


2000:  CHINA Quinghai (June)


           GAMBIA (November)

2002:  CHILE (April)

2003:  JAPAN (January)

           CAMEROON (April)

2004:  CUBA (April)

           PAPUA NEW GUINEA (June)

2005:  TEXAS (Aprill)

           INDONESIA Sumatra & West Java (July)

2006:  PAPUA NEW GUINEA (August)

2007:  INDIA Eaglenest (April)          

2008:  PHILIPPINES (April)

           NAMIBIA (July/August)

2009:  VIETNAM (April)

          Cat Tien & Da Lat plateau

2010:  CHINA (May/June)
          Shanghai (Spoon-billed Sandpiper), Wuishan, Fuzhou & Xiaolongmen

          Xi’an & Yangxian (Crested Ibis)

          Pingtai (Jankowski’s Bunting)

            UGANDA (June)
          Mbamba (Shoebill), Kibale (Green-breasted Pitta) & Bwindi (African Green Broadbill)

2011:  ETHIOPIA (February)

           TAIWAN (April/May)

2012:  TURKEY (June)


          Nemrut Dagi

            MALAYSIA Sarawak & Sabah (July/August)
          Kuching, Kinabatangan River, Danum Valley, Sepilok and Mount Kinabalu

2013:  CORSICA (May)

            INDONESIA West Papua (August)

2014:  SPAIN Extremadura (April)

Thursday, 16 April 2015


The following birding trips have been 'blogged'.  All the older ones use scanned slides or digitised prints of varying quality.  All are heavily reliant on unreliable memories as only for the 1982 Asian trip did I make anything other than very rudimentary diary entries.  The blogs are done mainly to find a 'home' for my boxes of old slides but may be of wider interest. Other trips will be added as and when time allows.

ARGENTINA:  August 1990
Shanghai (Spoon-billed Sandpiper), Wuishan & Fuzhou (Chinese Crested Tern)
Pingtai (Jankowski’s Bunting)

INDIA:  June/July 1982

INDONESIA:  August 1992  Sulawesi & Halmahera
                       August 1993 Irian Jaya
                       August 2013 West Papua (Irian Jaya)

ISRAEL:  March/April 1979

KENYA:  December 1977/January 1978
                July/August 1983

MADAGASCAR:  August 1995

MALAYSIA:  January/February 1982 West Malaysia
                      July/August 1987 Sabah & West Malaysia
                     July/August 2012 Sarawak & Sabah
Kuching, Kinabatangan River, Danum Valley, Sepilok and Mount Kinabalu

MOROCCO:  April 1977

NEPAL:  November 1979-January 1980
                March/June 1982
Jomson Trek
Everest Trek
Langtang Trek

PHILIPPINES: Easter 1996
                           Easter 2008

SOUTH AFRICA:  August 1991

SPAIN:  Easter 2014 Extremadura

TAIWAN:  April/May 2011

THAILAND:   December 1978/January 1979
                      December 1980/January 1981            
                      February 1982
                         March/April 1988

TURKEY:  June 2012
Nemrut Dagi

UGANDA:  June 2010
Mbamba (Shoebill), Kibale (Green-breasted Pitta) & Bwindi (African Green Broadbill)

VENEZUELA: December 1982/February 1983
Henri Pittier, the Andes and the Llanos
Bolivar and the north coast

VIETNAM:  April 2009
Cat Tien & Da Lat plateau